Area food banks are gearing up for the holiday season to meet the needs of local families. With higher heating bills and holiday spending, food pantries in Deer Park and Loon Lake expect an uptick in traffic.
According to Cheri Hughes, the Loon Lake Food Bank and Resource Center currently services about 450 families per week, while the Valley Food Pantry serves an average of 65 families. The GreenHouse in Deer Park supports 250 families per month, according to director, Melanie Allen.
How can people help the food banks continue to serve those less fortunate this holiday season?
Loon Lake Food Bank and Resource Center is looking for donations of the following by November 10th.
- Canned pumpkin
- Sweet potatoes
They will be doing a turkey giveaway either the 14th or 16th. They anticipate that this will be the first time in the past five years that they will actually have enough turkeys to feed the families. While monetary donations are welcome, people wanting to help for the 2018 holidays are encouraged to bring food items, since it takes a couple of months for donations to be processed and items purchased. They are working on Thanksgiving right now; they haven’t looked at Christmas yet, but they normally provide hams, and they can start receiving them in November for December along with other holiday dressings.
Deer Park’s GreenHouse prefers monetary donations, and has been working to increase the number of regular monetary donors. Additionally, items with protein and holiday meal ingredients would be great. The GreenHouse actually has a shelf area specifically for holiday meal items, including dessert ideas or treats, and foods that people typically only eat around the holidays.
They also collect and share gifts with children 0-18 (as long as the child is still in high school at 18). Gifts for the teens are especially appreciated. For those uncertain of what to give, gift cards to local businesses are great ideas – Bobmart, the Pickett Fence, Rozy’z, Taco Bell, McDonald’s, Zip’s, etc. Gift collection boxes will be at Bi-Mart, Yokes and other Deer Park businesses, beginning the day after Thanksgiving.
Furthermore, November 16th – December 7th is the Yoke’s Season of Giving Food Drive. You will be be able to purchase premade bags of groceries everyday as well as make cash donations at the GreenHouse table in the Deer Park Yoke’s on Fridays.
For more information, please contact the local food banks.
The Loon Lake Food Bank and Resource Center
3945 Fir St, Loon Lake, WA
Monday and Thursday 9am – 1pm
Valley Food Pantry
PO Box 81, Valley, WA 99181
211 N Fir Ave, Deer Park, WA
Monday, Wednesday, Friday 1 – 5pm